It’s Oscar time

Oscar statuetteYup, it’s come around again.
Time for the academy to award the movies with the biggest budgets with little gold statues and to leave out the great little independent films that actually have some heart, and a storyline.

Naturally, Brokeback Mountain has cleared up with the most nominations of any film, including Best Picture, hardly a surprise. Although the Screen Actors Guild snubbed the movie, this was unlikely to happen at the Oscars, afterall, it is virtually run by the movie distributors. Not being nominated for an Oscar would kill DVD sales.

Personally, I think that Crash was the better film of 2005 and deserves to get the Best Picture gong, for which it has also been nominated, though only through lack of alternate choice.

The film of 2005 that I think should have been nominated and presented with the Best Picture award is Woody Allen’s Match Point, though saying that, I am yet to see Munich, which, from what I have heard, could potentially win my (non-existant) vote.A History of Violence

With regard to the Best Director nominations, the obvious ones are there, Spielberg (for Munich, not WotW, gladly), Ang Lee (for Brokeback Mountain, of course), but in my opinion, the obvious winner should be David Cronenberg for History of Violence. Cronenberg kept the story enthralling and full of doubt about what was going to happen next, absolutely brilliant.
You can read the full list of nominations, here, at the official Oscars website.

Censorship in action

Google’s censorship over the Chinese edition of its search engine has come into force.

For those who didn’t already know, last week Google decided to censor its site in compliance with strict government rules on free-speech so that it could finally be viewable in China, after many searches being blocked almost since Googles inception.

Google argues that it would be better for them to censor and be allowed to remain online in the country, that to pull out altogether.

Free-speech is almost non-existant in the worlds most vastly populated nation.
Bloggers have even been jailed, for blogging against the official government line or for being outspoken about state thuggery.

So, if you want to see for yourself how Google has turned itself into a tool to aid oppression, compare these two searches. One uses Google image search, US edition, the other uses Google image search, Chinese edition. Guess which one is which.

http://images.google.cn/images?q=tiananmen
http://images.google.com/images?q=tiananmen

Suitable sustenance

Well, it’s another Sunday afternoon.

One Sunday every month, I have to work.
It’s a boring task, as generally, there is nothing to do.
My job is to be here in case there is an incident.
Server goes down, telephones stop working, printer blows up, etc. You know, the usual ‘issues’ that people without the word ‘support’ in their job title are incapable of dealing with.
But, since so few people actually work on a Sunday, there is hardly ever a problem.

I bring in my laptop or portable DVD player and sit here watching movies all day. Cushty.

What I miss, however, is the Great British Sunday roast, normally enjoyed every Sunday, either with my family, or Lauras family. It’s a British tradition.
Turkey, Beef, Pork or Lamb with all the trimmings, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, roast potatoes, new potatoes and not to mention, Yorkshire puddings and gravy.

It simply cannot be beat.
Fuck ‘the great American hamburger’
Fuck ‘the amazing Italian pizza’
A British Sunday lunch will win each and every time.

But, I don’t get to have it whilst I’m in work.
In fact, I rarely eat when I’m in work on a Sunday. I can’t usually be bothered walking into the city centre to get anything, even if it is only 5 minutes away.
The reason being, when I do get there, what is my choice?

Burger King, McDonalds or a shitty tuna sandwich from the newsagents that has been there, on the counter next to the till since at least Friday morning, if not before.

But now, I’ve discovered an alternative.

Ring-a-Roast

They will deliver a full roast dinner, with the meat (or nut cutlet for you veggies) of your choice, anywhere in Cardiff.

The prices aren’t too bad, considering if I had a pizza delivered, it would be about the same price.

I’ve decided to try it out this afternoon,

Roast turkey
served with bacon & sausage roll, sage & onion stuffing,
new and roast potatoes, gravy, peas & carrots

Sounds great. I hope it lives up to my expectations.

Update 16:39
Well, it came, in good time too.
Overall, it gets high marks. Obviously, it isn’t quite like mum’s roasts, simply because everyone is used to their own family style of cooking it and everyone is slightly different.
Some mix the vegetable water to make the gravy, others put marmite in the gravy, others don’t.
Some steam their vegetables, some boil them, etc.

One thing is for sure though, I shan’t have to miss a Sunday roast again just because i’m working.

‘Mad for Morrissey’

The South Wales Echo has covered this mornings ticket rush in a small article;

Eager Morrissey fans bombarded St David’s Hall’s box office and internet ticket agents as his Cardiff show sold out in an hour today.
Tickets to see the former Smiths frontman at the Cardiff venue on Monday, May 15, went on sale at 9am today.
More than 200 tickets were sold on the internet in the first 10 minutes.
All of the general sale tickets, including those sole by internet ticket agents, went before 10am. The rest of the tickets were kept back for Friends of St David’s Hall.

This is unsurprising. Ticketmaster were sold out by about 9:03am. See, by about 9:10.
I was very lucky to have gotten hold of those standing tickets from Ticketline UK, since it was purely curiosity that made me call them. I didn’t even know there were going to be standing tickets, as far as I was aware, it was seating only.

Plus, Jo F talks about ‘jammed phone lines’, I got through first time, as if the phone line was there just for me. Just lucky I suppose.

Anyway. I have 4 spare, seated, tickets.
The reason I got such goods seats (Tier 11, Row F, Seats 27-30) was because I have to have been the first person, on Ticketmaster at least, to have bought tickets. I was refreshing the page constantly from 8:55am, until finally, the drop down box to select how many tickets I wanted appeared. All went smoothly from then on. No problems at all.

If anybody wants to buy these tickets, I’d be glad to oblige.
(Though I shall speak to Jo first, as she has already expressed an interest)

I got the tickets!

8, in fact.

The tickets actually went on sale, on Ticketmaster, by my count, at 8:57. But hell. I’m not complaining.

Ticketmaster & See, the main online ticket sales sites had all seating tickets.
I bought 4. Best seats in the house. Tier 11. Seated in direct line of sight of the stage.

When I got hold of a seating plan, however, I noticed that there was space for ‘stalls’ in front of the stage.
I wanted to get my hands on these, but Ticketmaster nor See had any listing of them whatsoever.

So, at 9:30, I called my local ticket office, Ticketline UK. They did indeed sell standing tickets!
Yes!

So, I bought a further 4.
No skin off my nose, somebody will want to buy those seated tickets from me.

Inside St Davids HallI’ve not been to a gig in St Davids Hall before, so I wasn’t too sure of the size of it and how close we would actually be, should we choose to stand.
I checked out Google Image search and found a picture, it looks quite small, quaint, and ultimately, this will make the gig quite intimate. I’m glad I bought standing tickets now.

Roll on 15th May. I have booked the day off work, so will have the whole day to prepare for it and get there early. The doors open at 7:30, but I’m planning to get there around 4/5pm to get as close to the stage as possible.

The main thing is, I have tickets to see Morrissey!
What a great day :)